Sen. John Marty: Vikings Stadium Subsidy Comes to $77.30 Per Ticket #wilfare

Sen. John Marty sent out a letter to colleagues tonight regarding the financial absurdity of the Vikings stadium financing plan. The full letter is embedded below. You can click the list below to download it at

A few highlights:

1. Marty has calculated the stadium costs (state and city, construction and operating subsidies) to be $77.30 per ticket. That right there shows you how bad of a deal this is. It’s pretty safe to assume that Vikings fans would not be willing to pay an extra $77.30 per ticket per game for 30 years, so this plan calls for exploiting gamblers, taxing residents of Minneapolis with a .5% citywide sales tax; taxing downtown residents, people working downtown, and visiting downtown with 3% taxes on restaurant and bar visits; shifting property tax burdens from currently taxable land surrounding the stadium to the city’s remaining taxpayers, yadda yadda. It’s so many different non-Vikings fans related taxes that it’s tough to keep track.

2. Marty points out that a strong jobs bill would be one that focuses on labor rather than materials. Refurbishing the current Vikings stadium would be one way to achieve this goal. The Vikings would prefer a brand spanking new stadium instead, but aren’t willing to pay for it (nor are fans), so refurbishing shold be on the table.

3. The public does not support this plan. Why else would we have to rely upon such a convoluted financing scheme. If building a new stadium for the Vikings made any sense at all, the public would be behind it, and this would have been done by now.

4. Marty provides a fair solution for the public and team. A true win-win: “If taxpayers pay 60% of the costs, taxpayers deserve 60% of the naming rights, 60% of the suite revenue, 60% of the parking revenue, etc.” That’s what an investment looks like. The current Vikings stadium provides charity to a for-profit business run by an out of state businessman.

Sen. John Marty: Vikings Stadium Subsidy Comes to $77.30 per Ticket

Ask a Vikings fan if they’d be willing to pay an extra $77.30 per ticket for the next 30 years. If no, ask them why someone else should subsidize their tickets rather than provide tax revenue to pay for true state needs.

It’s tough to have Purple Pride when your Vikings tickets are being paid for through regressive sales and gambling taxes.

10 thoughts on “Sen. John Marty: Vikings Stadium Subsidy Comes to $77.30 Per Ticket #wilfare”

  1. The numbers look even worse if one assumption is wrong– what if the Vikings don’t continue to sell out games. That subsidy per ticket could skyrocket

  2. I don’t see any reason why if the tax paying public of MN shouldn’t get 60 % of annual revenue
    from an investment that puts
    them on hook for 60 % of the costs . Period.

  3. @Leo, if building a stadium was an investment, that’s how it would work. But, this isn’t an investment. It’s a gift to a wealthy businessman in NJ funded on the backs of regressive gambling and sales taxes in Minnesota and Minneapolis.

  4. Wow. Nobody seems to take into account the amount of money the Vikings bring into Minnesota. And I am SICK of the “why should the state help make a billionaire richer?” attitude. You can’t make that argument because the state just helped build a stadium for the Twins… And no one is complaining about that!

  5. I would like to thank Sen. Marty for making this stance publicly.

    The NFL model of financing has taken what was once an asset to the community of fans of our region, poisoned it with greedy and turned it into a raging liability.

    To support this proposal is to enable these extractive behaviours, but as we’ve seen on this blog, it takes courage to express opposition to the NFL and its ‘grassroot’ bullies.

    This is the exact type of courageous and reasoned representation I expect from all my elected officials, but especially from a Senator.

    Senator Marty, many thanks for setting the example of leadership so many of us have been waiting for. Thank you.

  6. Josh-

    The Vikings do not “bring money into Minnesota”. Sure the teams travel here, but the Vikings also travel away, ditto with fans. Most of the players will leave Minnesota once they retire taking their money away. Most importantly the owner may sell the team for a large profit after getting this deal through, and then leave with the money the taxpayers basically “gave the team”.

    The vikings are not a natural resource. No one is poorer if they move somewhere else. Bob from 3M doesn’t suddenly make less money. Likely he would spend that money on the Twins, or on Paintball, or Bowling, or a new TV. Substitution. Learn what it is.

    The Vikings might be worth $50 or $100 million in state subsidy, $600+ is just insane. It is the worst kind of politically motivated boondoggle. If this made any kind of economic sense Wilf could go and get the money from a bank, but it does not.

  7. Message for Josh,

    you are wrong about people not complaning about the twins stadium, I was complaining about it before it was built and I am still complaining about it. Jay Weiner sports writer for the Star Tribune is complaining about it. Why don’t you try opening your eyes to what is going on?

  8. I also wanted to give Senator Marty kudos for taking the responsible stand on this issue.

  9. To the good people of Minnesota. Please educate yourselves on what has transpired in Santa Clara with the 49ers stadium, so that you can be forewarned about how you could be deceived by a Vikings stadium campaign. Here in Santa Clara,a city of 117,000 people (NOT a wealthy community by any means), the 49ers worked with our pro-stadium council members and former council members to give us a ballot measure which read like an advertisement for the stadium and did not disclose costs. There was no objectivity in the ballot language, and in California there is no legal requirement for city-wide ballot measures to disclose costs.

    We were given a ballot measure which did not disclose any loans for stadium construction. The 49ers spent almost $5 Million in a saturation campaign to convince people to vote yes. People were told in the campaign mailers/ads and by our elected officials that the “49ers/NFL/and stadium revenues will pay for 92% of the stadium construction costs.” The voices of anyone who opposed a public subsidy or who wanted the loan costs disclosed on the ballot were drown out by the 49ers money. The opposition funded by ordinary citizens in Santa Clara had only $20,000 to spend on the campaign – far less than the 49ers spent on yardsigns.

    18 months after people voted yes we saw the contract – our city agency the Stadium Authority would take on $850 million in loans for stadium construction. That amount is now up to $950 million in loans. The 49ers are putting in no upfront money of their own. The NFL will loan the 49ers $200 million. Almost the entire bill for stadium construction is debt financed.

    The $950 million comes due at the end of construction. Santa Clarans are not being told how the loans will be paid off or how the long term financing will be paid off.

    People here collected enough signatures to demand a vote on the loans. Our city council sued the citizens of Santa Clara, and the 49ers stadium company joined in (suing the citizens plus suing the Stadium Authority) to deny us the right to vote. A judge agreed that he would not allow us to vote on the loans, stating that the loans are just an administrative, not a legislative act. So elected officials played a bait and switch to get people to vote yes on a stadium, and the people here now don’t get to vote on the actual deal.

    Minnesotans, don’t let this happen to you! Visit the santaclaraplaysfair dot org website to read the timeline of how Santa Clarans were deceived by our elected officials.

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